Maastricht Convention Bureau

News & Press Releases

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Leading Congress on Computational Intelligence and Games to Maastricht

From 14-17 August 2018 the IEEE Conference on Computational Intelligence and Games (CIG) takes place in Maastricht. It is the first time that this annual conference, organized since 2005, will be held in the Netherlands*. IEEE CIG is one of the major international conferences in this field. Around 150 leading researchers and developers from the academic world and game industry from all over the world come together to exchange the latest developments and launch future research guidelines.

Topic of the conference is, in brief, Game AI. Computer games can be used as a challenging environment to test and compare methods for artificial intelligence, as they have all kinds of dynamic elements that also occur in decision making in the real world.

In addition, methods of artificial intelligence will greatly influence game technology and development, assist designers and developers, and making new types of computer games possible.


The conference is organized by the Department of Data Science & Knowledge Engineering of Maastricht University. The conference is under the auspices of the Games Technical Committee of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society. This Society, the IEEE Computer Society, the IEEE Consumer Electronics Society and the IEEE Sensors Council also sponsor a magazine on this subject: IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games.


Chairman of the committee of this congress is Dr. Mark Winands, associate professor at the Department of Data Science & Knowledge Engineering of Maastricht University. He explains why the organization of IEEE CIG has chosen Maastricht as destination for the 2018 edition of the conference:

“Maastricht is a historic city, with a rich cultural heritage. It is a great location for the CIG conference, with excellent conference facilities located in and around the university campus. The proposed conference venue is the former Jesuit Monastery and the School of Business and Economics, within walking distance of the train station and close to various hotels. This location contains two large auditoriums, seats for 180 and 500 people, and various small auditoriums for parallel sessions. The organization team also identified several good hotels that provide affordable accommodation near the proposed conference room.

The main cities of Europe are within two hours of Maastricht. The city is surrounded by Belgium and Germany and close to France. It is easily accessible by car, train or airplane. There are several international airports in the area, one hour’s drive from the city. There is a direct train service from Amsterdam Central Station to the city of Maastricht every 30 minutes.”

John Aarts, alderman for Economic Affairs, Mobility and Finance of the city of Maastricht, is delighted with the coming of the conference: “Leading international congresses such as IEEE are of great importance to Maastricht. The economic benefits for the city are considerable. In addition, the congresses provide knowledge development and contribute significantly to the renown of Maastricht as a university and knowledge city. ”

For more information about IEEE CIG 2018:


* Previous countries were UK, USA, Hawaii, Australia, Italy, Denmark, South Korea, Spain, Canada, Germany, Taiwan, and Greece.


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AIACE Conference in Maastricht: for multiple reasons a true success!

AIACE, recognized as the only representative international association of former European Union officials, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Maastricht Treaty, held its annual congress in Maastricht from 28 May to 1 June 2017. 150 members met in MECC Maastricht. For several reasons, the organization looks back on a successful conference.

Highlights from the program

The welcome reception, offered by the Maastricht Convention Bureau, took place at Thiessen Wijnkoopers on 28 May. The General Assembly on May 30, during which the Maastricht Treaty was exceptionally exhibited, was preceded on May 29 by the solemn opening with Maastricht City Alderman Mrs M.F.V. (Mieke) Damsma and by a conference / debate with C. Trojan, former Secretary-General of the European Commission. This was about 25 years of Maastricht Treaty and the future of Europe. On 31 May, 3 other workshops were held on topics that are of interest to pensioners, as well as a meeting of the board of directors.

In addition, the participants became acquainted with the city of Maastricht and South Limburg: they had a tour of the city, a trip to the Drielandenpunt (three country spot) and the Margraten military cemetery, and finally visited the villages of Thorn and Oud-Rekem and the Bonnefantenmuseum.

The organization announced that the participants are over the moon about their experience and the environment and that they are still talking about the gala dinner at La Butte aux Bois.

Ronald McDonald Huis

It is common for money to be collected for a local charity during AIACE. Maastricht Convention Bureau suggested the Ronald McDonald Huis Maastricht, which was embraced by the organization and conference delgates: last week was announced that there were no less than

€ 637,40 in the collecting box and that the Ronald McDonald Huis Maastricht will receive an additional amount of € 875, – from the conference budget (an amount from the conference fee of each delegate); so: a total amount  of over € 1500, -! Margo de Kock, Managing Director of the Ronald McDonald House Maastricht, is grateful for the wonderful contribution from AIACE. She says that they can achieve no less than 44 nights for parents whose child is hospitalized in the adjoining MUMC+.


AIACE was founded in 1969 and now has 11,500 members around the world and 15 national sections. The objectives are:

  • defend the interests of the members of the institutions’ administrations and, where appropriate, the national authorities
  • dissemination of relevant information to members
  • dissemination of the European thought
  • promotion of contacts between members, through meetings, visits, conferences, excursions, etc., both regional and international.
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Grand opening – St. Gerlach Pavilion & Manor Farm

Oostwegel Collection are delighted to announce the grand opening of St. Gerlach Pavilion & Manor Farm, today, by Her Royal Highness Margriet Princess of the Netherlands and husband Professor Pieter van Vollenhoven. To mark the occasion, two pieces of art, gifted by generous donors who share an affinity with the Château St. Gerlach estate, are unveiled at a private event for 450 guests.

Oostwegel Collection invests €11.1 million in Château St. Gerlach estate expansion

Dating back to 1668, the Manor Farm at the entrance to the estate, has been entirely restructured and transformed into Burgemeester Quicx, Coffee & More. Supremely adaptable it not only offers a welcome draw for coffee or lunch, but also six breakout rooms for intimate meetings and events. Adjacent to the farmhouse, the contemporary pavilion designed by renowned architect, Francine Houben from Mecanoo Architecten, effortlessly blends with its historic backdrop and boasts three multifunctional meeting rooms, that can be used separately or combined to encompass a vast 850m2 space, accommodating up to 750 people. Francine Houben explained, “The St. Gerlach Pavilion is designed with a generous overhanging roof and beautiful arch, using materials inspired by the surrounding landscape: limestone, bluestone and oak, ensuring a successful connection with the existing Château and newly renovated Manor Farm.”

Owner Camille Oostwegel SR said, “The spectacular St. Gerlach Pavilion and renovated Manor Farm strengthens the estates overall proposition, making it primed for the future and more relevant than ever for both leisure and business guests.”

New meetings and events venue overlooking Château St. Gerlach

Officially launched today, by Her Royal Highness Margriet Princess of the Netherland and husband Professor Pieter van Vollenhoven, The St. Gerlach Pavilion & Manor Farm have been trading since January 2017 and adds a new dimension to the existing hotel’s meetings and event spaces. Professor Pieter van Vollenhoven, whose continued support in preserving the cultural heritage of historic buildings has a connection to the estate that has endured for over 20 years, when he opened Château St. Gerlach in September 1997.


Artistic tributes unveiled

During archeological excavation, a 14th-century silver coin decorated with Johanna van Brabant’s and Philips de Stoute’s coat of arms was discovered on the site of the St. Gerlach Pavilion. To celebrate this discovery and mark the opening, artist Claudia Volders has been commissioned to create portraits of both individuals, to be hung in the Pavilion’s Johanna van Brabant salon, alongside the coins.
Additionally, the sculptor Frans van Straaten has been commissioned to create a bronze Limburg draft horse to stand between Manor Farm and St. Gerlach Pavilion entrance. Named “Bella from St. Gerlach” the statue is a celebration of Château St. Gerlach’s 20th anniversary and grand opening.

About Château St. Gerlach

Nestled in the Geul Valley, on the edge of the protected Ingendael nature reserve and just ten-minutes’ drive outside Maastricht, lies luxury hotel, Château St. Gerlach. The magnificent country estate has been thoughtfully and sensitively restored to encompass 113 guestrooms, suites and serviced apartments, a renowned à la carte restaurant, popular bistro, coffee bar, lavish spa facilities and 16 meeting and event spaces, including the newly built St. Gerlach Pavilion accommodating up to 750 guests.

A member of Relais & Châteaux since 1997, Château St. Gerlach is part of Oostwegel Collection, a Limburgian family business dedicated to gracious hospitality, artisanal cuisine and historically authentic properties. For more information:


Photos: Etienne van Sloun